Formula 1

Formula 1: Three key battles to watch out for in Miami GP 2023

Keshava Verma

May 7 2023
Miami GP 2023 Formula 1

Sergio Perez starts at the pole position.

Just a week after an enthralling contest at the Baku City Circuit, the Formula 1 action has arrived at the magic city of Miami, as drivers buckle up to take on the narrow curves and ramped-up tracks of the Miami International Autodrome for a win at Miami GP 2023.

The track is 5.412km long, and is a true street track spectacle, with the Hard Rock Stadium at its epicentre. The track features 19 corners, three straights, potential for three DRS zones, and an estimated top speed of 320km/h. Also, what spices things up at the Autodrome, is the elevation changes, which can pose problems for drivers.

With the ultimate showdown at Miami due to take place today, we take a look at three key battles to watch out for at the Miami GP 2023.

Sergio Perez vs Fernando Alonso

Both Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso are having an amazing F1 season so far. After being on the sidelines for some time now, Sergio Perez is finally getting out of the shadow of his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and is challenging the Dutchman for the World Championship. 

Perez currently sits just 6 points behind Max in the driver’s championship, and his pole position at the Miami GP 2023 is a strong statement of intent, that the Mexican is indeed one of the strongest bidders for the Championship.

But alongside Checo at the front grid, is the veteran driver Fernando Alonso. At a point in his career, where everybody expected the legend to have a quiet season, and simply enjoy the final stretch in his glorious career, the Spaniard is writing an absolute fairytale. Alonso is currently third in the driver’s championship and is having an exceptional season.

With Perez and Alonso both in the front grid for today’s race, and the stakes being 25 huge points in the driver’s championship, we can be sure of an epic battle ensuing between the Mexican magician, and the Spanish sorcerer.

George Russell vs Charles Leclerc

George Russel had a frustrating qualifying, as he was made to settle for 6th on the grid, despite doing particularly well in the practice sessions. He is now starting in the 3rd row and will have a difficult job on Sunday defending his position against the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. 

After a pole position at Baku, Leclerc had a rather disappointing evening on Saturday, as he spun off the road and into the wall, after losing control of his vehicle at turn 7. 

But after a podium finish a week ago at Baku, Leclerc would be determined to put on a show at the magic city of Miami, and it will be very interesting to see the two talented youngsters battle it out on the track.

Estaben Ocon vs Max Verstappen

After two nervy encounters at turn six and seven, Verstappen didn’t return to action in Q2, as a result of which he will start the race in 9th position on Sunday. Verstappen, who has previously triumphed at the Autodrome, struggled a bit with his car this time around, and it will be interesting to see how the Dutcham performs on Sunday, as he needs to gain a number of positions, to be able to keep his place on the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

But ahead of him, will be a number of tough drivers, the first of which is Esteban Ocon, who did extremely well in the qualifying, and also commented on the great functionality of his car. The young Frenchman will be put to the test this weekend, as he will have to defend his position against the defending world champion, who will have his eyes set on his teammate Perez, from the very start.

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